Photo by: iStock

Halloween: You've Officially Gone Too Far

Photo by: iStock

I’m not normally one to dress up for Halloween, but this year I’m super done. I want to wear PJs. Why? Because I’m tired. I’m freaking tired of the commercialization of misery. I am sick of things being packaged for sale that have no place on the open market, save as potentially educational opportunities or to identify people who need their horizons expanded significantly. Some things should not be a thing.

I’m looking at you, manufacturer of the sexualized costume depicting Anorexia Nervosa – a highly stigmatized disease with a high mortality rate – is incredibly offensive. This stuff ruined my life for five years and you adjusted it for sale to maximize cleavage? Cleavage I didn’t have as it tried to kill me because my weakened frame could not support such structures. So much no.

There is nothing more nauseating (and this is coming from a former bulimic) than seeing something that nearly ended your life trotted out as a fashion statement. Anorexia is so “hot” right now, and that’s the exact freaking reason I volunteer my time and pour my heart out in blog posts to stop that from being the case. And by “hot”, I mean prevalent, because it’s a DISEASE and that’s the language we use to describe the spread of disease. The extent to which eating disorders are not sexy cannot be sufficiently underscored. It puts me in mind of that jerk of a pick-up artist who toured recently advocated they preying upon women with eating disorders. And y’all turned it into a costume? For shame!

I’m also looking at you, purveyors of Pocahottie costumes. My people’s ceremonies were illegal for 75 years and now folks want to play dress up with cheap, tacky interpretations of regalia? For real? Fetishizing a group of women for whom an inquiry is required on account of the number of them who have been murdered or gone missing seems in poor taste. Perhaps that plays into the apathy that has held up further investigation for so long… there always seems to be so many of us on Halloween. You may not put on my ancestry as a plaything like Mommy’s high heels. The history of my people is something I am proud of and it’s ill-fitting to be worn by those who haven’t experienced it. Don’t reduce it to something cheap that fits in a plastic package and hangs on a rack – it is far too deep, vast, colourful and expansive to be captured and mass produced. It’s too beautiful to be marked down to $19.99 on November 1. There are many ways to celebrate First Nations culture. This is 100% not one of them.

I’m also looking at the company which thought Caitlyn Jenner’s transition would be a great costuming opportunity. It is truly a statement of where we are as a culture when you can dress up and pretend to be a symbol of someone else’s journey to authenticity. You are appropriating somoene else’s pain and literally clothing yourself in it. You are purchasing the cheap seats to someone else’s life journey and bringing them to your Halloween party. When you consider the risk of violence faced by people who actually transition, poking fun at that process seems incredibly insensitive and tone deaf.

As long as we think it’s okay to sell cartoon-like exaggerations of eating disorders, actual ethnic groups and people who face violence for simply being themselves, I’m going to pull on my PJs and sit this one out. Because I’m really, really tired.

Alison Tedford is a freelance writer and mommy of one from Abbotsford, BC. She is a data analyst, an eating disorder support group facilitator and a pole dancer. She documents her journey in fitness, feminism and parenting on Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Like This Article

Like Mamapedia

Learn From Moms Like You

Get answers, tips, deals, and amazing advice from other Moms.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us
Want to become a contributor?
Want to become a contributor?

If you'd like to contribute to the Wisdom of Moms on Mamapedia, please sign up here to learn more: Sign Up

Recent Voices Posts

See all